From Pipi’s Pasture: Taking a vacation
I don’t take many vacations because of all of my cow chores and all, but this year, since the cattle are out on summer pasture, I decided to take a week off from my away-from-home job.
I’m just getting into a new routine with the four cows, two calves, and bull that are staying at Pipi’s Pasture for the summer so I really couldn’t go very far, but I decided it would be enough to stay at home, putter in the garden, plant the rest of the flowers, read, write, and maybe take a nap once in awhile. I promised myself that I wouldn’t tear into the house and give it the cleaning it needs. (That’s what I used to do with vacations when I was teaching public schools years ago.) That could wait.
I eyed the flowers in trays on the inside of the front porch where some of the pansies were getting pretty spindly. For about two days, off and on, I replaced potting soil in the flower pots and transplanted bedding plants. Part of the enjoyment comes in choosing the right colors of flowers to put together and then arranging the pots for a pleasing effect.
I hoped for a cool and windless afternoon or evening when I could put the cabbage, tomato and pepper plants in the garden — so they could have the night to get adjusted to their new environment. So on Sunday afternoon it started to cool off and the clouds started to build. Rain was forecast so about 1 p.m. I decided that maybe I could get the bedding plants in the garden before it rained — perfect timing, I thought.
I carried the plants and other supplies to the garden and got everything in the garden just fine. The sky was getting a little dark so I decided to hurry and fill two water tanks at the corral before going back to the house.
Guess what? It began to thunder. The sky got even darker, and before I could even get the water tanks filled, it started to rain. I shut off the water and headed for the house — fast. Before I could get there, however, pea-size hail started to fall.
Luckily, I shut the front door just before the storm really hit. I was soaked, but at least I wasn’t caught out in the deluge that followed. Hail, some of it the size of marbles, and rain blew like the snow during a winter blizzard. Afterward, the ground was white and leaves and twigs covered the porch and lawn.
I was afraid to look at the garden so I put it off until chore time. Lyle went with me to assess the damage. Nothing was spared; the garden plants looked pretty shabby. The tomatoes and green peppers I had just put out were mostly gone. So were some of the cabbages. The green onions no longer had tops.
So the next day I went shopping for some replacement garden plants, and I got an unexpected surprise. For a couple of years I have not been able to find Grecian Violets, a flower that reminds me of one that might be found blooming on the prairie and that I have named “Prairie Flower.” (I have written about it before.) And there they were in big pots, nestled in between the pansies! I was thrilled.
So, as I write this column, the new bedding plants are in the garden — a little windblown but otherwise OK — and the Prairie Flowers are happily blooming in pots on the front porch. And I have puttered and read and rested. Today I’m going to check cows on summer pasture. Those are the highlights of my vacation.
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